The 1-4 Army Black Knights are reeling after being blown out 45-10 by Wake Forest last weekend. They look to rebound on Saturday as they take on Colgate, an FCS team with an identical 1-4 record.
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys to an Army win over Colgate:
Forget Last Weekend
The Black Knights are 1-4, but the Wake Forest loss needs to be scrubbed from the players’ minds immediately. Wake has transitioned into an elite team in the ACC. They are the type of team that Army can hang with and cause problems too in up years, but this isn’t one of those seasons. Giving up 26 first downs and 7.6 yards per play won’t happen against Colgate, as the Raiders don’t have playmakers at that level. The best thing to do is learn from the defeat and move forward into this one.
No More Turnovers
As crazy as it is to say in a game where Army was 38-0, the Wake Forest game got more out of hand than it needed to. Wake only outgained Army by 81 yards – 488 to 407 – showing that the Black Knights can still move the ball against excellent defenses. Sure, some of those yards were in garbage time, but if Army could have improved on the 5.5 yards per play, they could have put up more of a fight. The real killer, however, was turnovers. Army needs to play at a high level of discipline, and a team that wants to move the ball on the ground can’t afford to be -2 in turnovers. That – along with six penalties – will need to be cleaned up this weekend.
More Defense Pressure
Army is No. 95 in the country in sacks, with just 1.5 per game. This is down from 2.3 last season, a significant drop-off when it comes to pressuring the quarterback. The Black Knights play defense with a band but don’t break mentality. That means the team often needs a critical sack here or there, especially when the opponent is within 40 yards of the end zone. Those plays haven’t come yet this year, which needs to change against the Raiders to keep them behind the chains.